May 23, 2014

Bordeaux Confidential

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A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting James Suckling with a friend.  At that time he was just starting to spend more time in Asia and beginning his relationship with Hong Kong Tatler.  Since then there have been a series of events hosted jointly by Hong Kong Tatler and, and even though I had received kind invitations to attend in the past, I had conflicting obligations and ended up turning them down.

So when the invitation came for Bordeaux Confidential, I know I couldn't possibly turn it down again, even though it meant sneaking out of the office for a little bit.  And I'm glad I snuck out, as I was able to catch up with a few friendly faces...

There was already a lot of people right from the start, and I knew it would be difficult to take pictures of every bottle I was tasting.  There was also a natural congestion around the tables where first growths like Mouton and Haut-Brion were pouring their wines, so I generally avoided them and started with the whites.  Besides, Uncle Henry came and there was a small crowd gathered around James and him...

2010 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - ripe and sweet nose like cotton candy, a little caramelized, a little toasty.  Also a little alcoholic.

2011 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc - much heavier toast, a much bigger nose here, with pipi de chat, minerals and lemon citrus.  Outstanding.

2010 Le Petit Haut Lafitte - very ripe with lots of fruit and vanilla oak.

2010 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge - a little more toned down.  A little smoke, minty, and very fragrant.  Lovely on the palate.

2010 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge - green peppercorns and smoke.

Melanie Tesseron came to pour the Pontet-Canet wines.
2008 Pontet-Canet - classic left bank, smoky with a hint of oak, woody and fragrant.  First tasted during en primeur at the château.

2002 Pontet-Canet - more green and herbaceous, with cedar notes.

2000 Pontet-Canet - a beautiful wine!  Lots of oak, cedar, sooo fragrant, with smoke, leather and coffee notes.

Bruno Borie came to pour the Ducru-Beaucaillou wines.
2008 Ducru-Beaucaillou - very fragrant and a little smoky.  Still a little tannic but drinking well.  First tasted during en primeur at the château.

2011 Ducru-Beaucaillou - ripe and fruity, with forest notes.  A little fragrant with a hint of earthiness.

2000 Calon-Ségur - with 60% Cab in the blend.  A little more closed with a hint of smokiness.

2008 Calon-Ségur - with more Cab in the blend at 82%.  Very nice and fragrant, with more dried herbs and coffee notes.  Showing well with good concentration.

2009 Calon-Ségur - with even more Cab at 92%.  Nose was also fragrant but more closed compared to the 2008.  A little smoke and dried herbs, and alcoholic.

2001 Rauzan-Ségla - very open, showing nose of minerals, earthiness, dried herbs and smoke.

2005 Rauzan-Ségla - minty, a little closed.  Showing a little brett and smoke.

2008 Canon - nose of cold fruits, which was very nice.  Fragrant with dried herbs, forest and potpourri.

2006 Canon - stewed and cooked prunes, a little smoke, alcoholic, some savory minerals and potpourri.

2000 Canon - much more developed compared to the other two wines.  Lovely.

This was a good chance for me to see how some of the vintages I first tasted a few years ago have evolved, and also a good opportunity to taste the newer vintages.  Many thanks to Hong Kong Tatler for the kind invitation.

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